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News to Know
September 19, 2023
The intent of the Ticket to Work (Ticket) Program is for Employment Networks (ENs) to provide services and supports to the Ticketholder throughout the life of the Ticket. These services and supports should enable the Ticketholder to enter the workforce and maintain employment, with the goal of reducing their reliance on Social Security disability benefits and ultimately achieving financial independence. Ticketholder engagement is crucial to meeting these goals.
Two-way Communication Requirement
The Social Security Administration (SSA) is clarifying the requirements for a successful contact with a Ticketholder, both during the Initial Job Acquisition Phase and the Ongoing Support Phase of a Ticketholder’s progression toward their career goals. SSA is also clarifying the maximum time a Ticket may remain in assignment status without successful contact, including proper documentation of the contact.
ENs must maintain two-way communication with the Ticketholder in which the Ticketholder provides a response. Acceptable forms of contact are in-person meetings, telephone conversations, personalized email messages, voicemail messages received by the Ticketholder, personalized text messages, any form of computerized or telephone app communication (e.g., Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, Skype, etc.), and personalized letters to and from individuals.
Documentation of contact with the Ticketholder should summarize key discussion points, including, but not limited to, issues identified, goal progression and other services provided. Discussion points should be clear and verifiable by third-party reviewers (such as the Ticket Program Manager and SSA).
During the Initial Job Acquisition Phase (i.e., starting with Ticket Assignment through the end of the Phase 1 Milestone Period):
During the Ongoing Support Phase (i.e., Starting with the Phase 2 Milestone Period through Ticket Unassignment):
At a minimum, the EN shall contact and communicate with the Ticketholder quarterly to determine if the Ticketholder requires any ongoing employment supports and maintain records of these communications, including the method of communication.
Ticketholders Not Working Toward Self-Sufficiency
If a Ticketholder is not meeting the goals outlined in the Individual Work Plan (IWP), the EN shall discuss and document the following:
SSA has asked ENs to review their current Ticket assignments to ensure that they are within the parameters of this guidance. If ENs have not maintained the required contact with their Ticketholders as annotated in Part III, Section 4.A of the Ticket Program Agreement (TPA), ENs must either contact the Ticketholder in order to attain compliance with the TPA’s IWP revision, and contact requirements or unassign the Ticket.
TPM has extended the original date for random reviews to confirm compliance. TPM will begin incorporating random reviews to ensure adherence to this guidance into our current Service and Support reviews beginning January 2024, with the expectation that ENs began following these guidelines as of May 2023 as instructed in the original GovDelivery message. As such, SSA will send this message to ENs during October, November and December of this year to remind them to prepare for random contact compliance checks during Service and Support reviews beginning in January 2024, as stated above.
These requirements are annotated in Part III, Section 4 of the TPA.
Please direct any questions about this policy to ENService@ssa.gov
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